Nyingma Lamas – The decentralized network of practitioners
Nyingma traditional histories consider their teachings to trace back to the first Buddha Samantabhadra (Güntu Sangpo) and Indian mahasiddhas such as Garab Dorjé, Śrī Siṃha and Jñānasūtra.
Table of Contents
- 1 - The origin of the Nyingma order
- 2 - A wider political disinterest
- 3 - Prominent Nyingma Lamas around the world
- 3.1 - Padmasambhava
- 3.2 - Ayang Rinpoche
- 3.3 - Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche
- 3.4 - Jamgon Kongtrul
- 3.5 - Khyentse Norbu
- 3.6 - Namkhai Norbu
- 3.7 - Dilgo Khyentse
- 3.8 - Longchenpa
- 3.9 - Jigme Lingpa
- 3.10 - Karma Chagme
- 3.11 - Chögyam Trungpa
- 3.12 - Patrul Rinpoche
- 3.13 - Garab Dorje
- 3.14 - Lama Gonpo Tseten
- 3.15 - Sakyong Mipham
- 3.16 - Dudjom Lingpa
- 3.17 - Rangjung Dorje
- 3.18 - Jamgön Ju Mipham Gyatso
- 3.19 - Vairotsana
- 3.20 - Vimalamitra
- 3.21 - Chagdud Tulku Rinpoche
- 3.22 - Chökyi Nyima Rinpoche
- 3.23 - Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche
- 3.24 - Rigdzin Namkha Gyatso Rinpoche
- 3.25 - Penor Rinpoche
- 3.26 - Mindrolling Trichen
- 3.27 - Chimé Rigdzin
- 3.28 - Lingtsang Gyalpo
- 3.29 - Pema Lingpa
- 3.30 - Namkhai Nyingpo
- 3.31 - Dudjom Jigdral Yeshe Dorje
- 3.32 - Tare Lhamo
- 3.33 - Taklung Tsetrul Rinpoche
- 3.34 - Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche
- 3.35 - Khandro Rinpoche
- 3.36 - Karma Lingpa
- 3.37 - Jnanasutra
- 3.38 - Trulshik Rinpoche
- 3.39 - Jigme Phuntsok
- 3.40 - Rigdzin Gödem
- 3.41 - Tulku Dakpa
- 3.42 - Shukseb Jetsun Chönyi Zangmo
- 3.43 - Thinley Norbu
- 3.44 - Tharchin Rinpoche
- 3.45 - Shabkar Tsokdruk Rangdrol
- 3.46 - Tertön Sogyal
- 3.47 - Tarthang Tulku
- 3.48 - Rongzom Chökyi Zangpo
- 3.49 - Zhangton Tashi Dorje
- 3.50 - Padma Samten
- 3.51 - Orgyen Kusum Lingpa
- 3.52 - Orgyen Chokgyur Lingpa
- 3.53 - Nyoshul Khenpo Rinpoche
- 3.54 - Nyangrel Nyima Özer
- 3.55 - Dzogchen Rinpoche
- 3.56 - Chatral Sangye Dorje
- 3.57 - Namchö Mingyur Dorje
- 3.58 - Katok Tsewang Norbu
- 3.59 - Khentrul Lodro Thaye Rinpoche
- 3.60 - Khenchen Palden Sherab Rinpoche
- 3.61 - Dodrupchen Jigme Trinle Ozer
- 3.62 - Khenpo Sherab Sangpo
- 3.63 - Dzogchen Ranyak Patrul Rinpoche
- 3.64 - Khenpo Shenga
- 3.65 - Dhardo Rimpoche
- 3.66 - Gangshar Wangpo
- 3.67 - Yangthang Rinpoche
- 3.68 - Yudra Nyingpo
- 3.69 - Tsele Natsok Rangdröl
- 3.70 - Khenpo Ngawang Pelzang
- 3.71 - Togdan Rinpoche
- 3.72 - Getse Mahapandita
- 3.73 - Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo
- 3.74 - Sri Singha
- 3.75 - Sherab Zangpo
- 3.76 - Shechen Gyaltsab
- 3.77 - Mañjuśrīmitra
- 3.78 - Ngawang Jigdral Rinpoche
- 3.79 - Rigdzin Kumaradza
- 3.80 - 2nd Dzogchen Rinpoche
The origin of the Nyingma order
Traditional sources trace the origin of the Nyingma order in Tibet to figures associated with the initial introduction of Buddhism in the 8th century, such as Padmasambhava, Yeshe Tsogyal, Vimalamitra, Vairotsana, Buddhaguhya and Shantaraksita.
Nyingma teachings are also known for having been passed down through networks of lay practitioners or ngagpas (Skt. mantrī).
The Nyingma tradition is therefore decentralized and often individual monastery administration decisions are made by the community of the lamas together with senior sangha members.
A wider political disinterest
Nyingmapa are historically characterized and distinguished by this decentralization and by their general wider political disinterest.
Their monasteries and sanghas, and wider communities, consist of a blend of monastic vow holders, of vow holding ngagpa householders, and of yogins.
Prominent Nyingma Lamas around the world
Contemporary Nyingma lineages include ethnic Tibetan and other Himalayan teachers as well as Western lamas, and their students.
This is a list of prominent Nyingma Lamas past and present.
Padmasambhava (Tib.: Guru Rinpoche) is the Indian founder of Tantric Buddhism in Tibet. In the 11th century with the rise of the Revealed Treasure tradition (Tib.: terma) the worship of Padmasambhava took on cult status.
Hundreds of new deity forms of Padmasambhava were created representing all aspects of iconography and Tantric activity; peaceful, wrathful, male, female, wealth, power, healing, etc.
Ayang Tulku Rinpoche is a Tibetan Buddhist lama.
Ayang Rinpoche is considered a foremost authority on Buddhist afterlife rituals and Tibetan Pure Land Buddhism; he gives teachings and initiations to the practice of phowa in Tibetan and English annually in Bodh Gaya, India and across the world in Europe, Asia, Australia and North America.
He has established a school, medical clinic and education sponsorship program for children in Tibet and a variety of community development projects for Tibetans in India.
He is also the founder of the Opame Khilkor Choling (The Amitabha Mandala Temple and Retreat Center) with 16 temples and a 64-cottage retreat center dedicated to Buddha Amitābha that overlooks the Kathmandu Valley in Nepal and Thupten Shedrub Jangchub Ling Monastic Institute at Bylakuppe, in the Indian State of Karnataka.
Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche
Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche is a Tibetan teacher and master of the Karma Kagyu and Nyingma lineages of Tibetan Buddhism.
He has authored two best-selling books and oversees the Tergar Meditation Community, a global network of Buddhist meditation centers.
‘Jamgön Kongtrül Lodrö Thayé, also known as Jamgön Kongtrül the Great, was a Tibetan Buddhist scholar, poet, artist, physician, tertön and polymath. He was one of the most prominent Tibetan Buddhists of the 19th century and he is credited as one of the founders of the Rimé movement (non-sectarian), compiling what is known as the “Five Great Treasuries”. He achieved great renown as a scholar and writer, especially among the Nyingma and Kagyu lineages and composed over 90 volumes of Buddhist writing, including his magnum opus, The Treasury of Knowledge.
Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche, also known as Khyentse Norbu, is a Tibetan/Bhutanese lama, filmmaker, and writer. His four major films are The Cup (1999), Travellers and Magicians (2003), Vara: A Blessing (2013), and Hema Hema: Sing Me a Song While I Wait (2017). He is the author of What Makes You Not a Buddhist (2007) and many other non-fiction works about Tibetan Buddhism.
Namkhai Norbu was a Tibetan Dzogchen master. When he was two years old, Namkhai Norbu was recognized as the ‘mindstream emanation’, a tulku, of the Dzogchen teacher Adzom Drugpa (1842–1924). At five, he was also recognized as a mindstream emanation of an emanation of Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyel (1594–1651). From an early age, Namkhai Norbu undertook an accelerated course of study, attending monastic college, taking retreats, and studying with renowned teachers, including some of the most important Tibetan masters of his time. Under the tutelage of these teachers, he completed the training required by the Buddhist tradition in both Sutrayana and Tantrayana. At the age of sixteen, he met master Rigdzin Changchub Dorje (1826–1961/1978), who became his principal Dzogchen teacher.
Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche was a Vajrayana master, scholar, poet, teacher, and head of the Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism from 1987 to 1991.
As the primary custodian of the teachings of Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo, Dilgo Khyentse was the de facto custodian of the vast majority of Tibetan Buddhist teachings.
He taught many eminent teachers, including the Dalai Lama.
His personal effort was crucial in the preservation of Tibetan Buddhism.
Longchen Rabjampa, Drimé Özer, commonly abbreviated to Longchenpa (1308–1364), was a major teacher in the Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism.
Along with Sakya Pandita and Je Tsongkhapa, he is commonly recognized as one of the three main manifestations of Manjushri to have taught in Central Tibet.
His major work is the Seven Treasuries, which encapsulates the previous 600 years of Buddhist thought in Tibet. Longchenpa was a critical link in the exoteric and esoteric transmission of the Dzogchen teachings.
He was abbot of Samye, one of Tibet’s most important monasteries and the first Buddhist monastery established in the Himalaya, but spent most of his life travelling or in retreat.
Jigme Lingpa (1730–1798) was a Tibetan tertön of the Nyingma sect of Tibetan Buddhism. He was the promulgator of the Longchen Nyingthik, the Heart Essence teachings of Longchenpa, from whom, according to tradition, he received a vision in which the teachings were revealed. The Longchen Nyingthik eventually became the most famous and widely practiced cycle of Dzogchen teachings.
Including the first, seven Karma Chagme tülkus have been recognized.
The Neydo Kagyu sub-school of the Karma Kagyu was established by the first Karma Chagme, Rāga Asya.
Chögyam Trungpa was a Buddhist meditation master and holder of both the Kagyu and Nyingma lineages, the eleventh Trungpa tülku, a tertön, supreme abbot of the Surmang monasteries, scholar, teacher, poet, artist, and originator of a radical re-presentation of Shambhala vision.
Patrul Rinpoche (1808–1887) was a prominent teacher and author of the Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism.
His disciples included masters of the Nyingma school such as Kathok Situ Choktrul Chökyi Lodrö, the Fifth Dzogchen Rinpoche Thubten Chökyi Dorje, Gyarong Namtrul Kunzang Thekchok Dorje, the second and third Dodrupchens, Jikme Phuntsok Jungne and Jikmé Tenpe Nyima, Dechen Rigpé Raldri, who was the son of Do Khyentse Yeshe Dorje, Khenpo Shenga, Adzom Druktrul Droddul Dorje, Tertön Sogyal Lerab Lingpa, Jamgon Ju Mipham Gyatso, Khenpo Pema Vajra, Nyoshul Lungtok, Alak Dongak Gyatso and others.
In addition, his disciples included many masters of the Sakya, Gelugpa and Kagyü schools, such as Sershul Lharampa Thubten, Palpung Lama Tashi Özer and Ju Lama Drakpa Gyaltsen.
Garab Dorje was the semi-historical first human teacher of the Ati Yoga or Great Perfection teachings according to Tibetan Buddhist tradition.
Lama Gonpo Tseten
Gonpo Tseten Rinpoche (1906–1991) was a Dzogchen master, author, painter, sculptor, and teacher of the Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism.
Among Lama Gönpo Tseten’s artistic works are two murals in Clement Town, Dhera Dun, India: “Amitabha in Dewachen” at Tashi Gommo Gelugpa Monastery, and “Mount Meru and the Universe System” at the Nyingmapa Lamas College.
He also painted a large thangka of the Longchen Nyingtik Refuge Tree and smaller thangkas of Padmasambhava and Vajrakilaya, some of which he gave to Thinley Norbu Rinpoche.
Subsequently, the main figure of Guru Rinpoche of Lama Gönpo’s painting was used as the cover for the Padmakara Translation Group’s translation of White Lotus by the 1st Jamgon Mipham Rinpoche.
Sakyong Jamgon Mipham Rinpoche, Jampal Trinley Dradul is the head of the Shambhala lineage and Shambhala, a worldwide network of urban Buddhist meditation centers, retreat centers, monasteries, a university, and other enterprises, founded by his father, Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche. Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche is a high lama in the Nyingma lineage of Tibetan Buddhism. In July 2018, Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche stated that he is stepping back from his duties due to an investigation into his alleged sexual misconduct.
Dudjom Lingpa (1835–1904) was a Tibetan meditation master, spiritual teacher and tertön. He stands out from the norm of Tibetan Buddhist teachers in the sense that he had no formal education, nor did he take ordination as a monk or belong to any established Buddhist school or tradition of his time. He was met with great skepticism by many of his contemporaries, due to the fact that, despite not studying under any established Buddhist teachers of his time, he claimed to receive teachings on meditation and spiritual practice directly from non-physical masters like Guru Rinpoche and Yeshe Tsogyal, as well as deities such as Avalokitesvara and Manjushri. It wasn’t until his disciples started showing clear signs of spiritual maturity, that he was accepted by his contemporaries as an authentic teacher and tertön. Today his teachings and literary works, especially those on non-mediation (dzogchen), are highly regarded within the Nyingma-tradition of Tibetan Buddhism.
Rangjung Dorje (1284–1339) was the third Karmapa and an important figure in the history of Tibetan Buddhism, who helped to spread Buddha-nature teachings in Tibetan Buddhism.
Jamgön Ju Mipham, or Mipham Jamyang Namgyal Gyamtso (1846–1912) was a very influential philosopher and polymath of the Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism. He wrote over 32 volumes on topics such as painting, poetics, sculpture, alchemy, medicine, logic, philosophy and tantra. Mipham’s works are still central to the scholastic curriculum in Nyingma monasteries today. Mipham is also considered one of the leading figures in the Ri-me (non-sectarian) movement in Tibet.
Vairotsana was a lotsawa or “translator” living during the reign of King Trisong Detsen, who ruled 755-97 CE.
Vairotsana, one of the 25 main disciples of Padmasambhava, was recognized by the latter as a reincarnation of an Indian pandita.
He was among the first seven monks ordained by Śāntarakṣita, and was sent to Dhahena in India to study with Śrī Siṅgha, who taught him in complete secrecy.
Śrī Siṅgha in turn entrusted Vairotsana with the task of propagating the semde and longdé sections of Dzogchen in Tibet.
He is one of the three main masters to bring the Dzogchen teachings to Tibet, the two others being Padmasambhava and Vimalamitra, and was also a significant lineage holder of trul khor.
Vimalamitra was an 8th-century Indian monk. His teachers were Buddhaguhya, Jñānasūtra and Śrī Siṃha. He was supposed to have vowed to take rebirth every hundred years, with the most notable figures being Rigzin Jigme Lingpa, Khenchen Ngagchung, Kyabje Drubwang Penjor Rinpoche and Kyabje Yangthang Rinpoche. ‘ Vimalamitra’ was more known to the Bhutanese and Tibetans as ‘Penchen Vimalamitra’ meaning ‘the Great Pandita’. He was one of the eight teachers of the great Indian adept Guru Padmasambhava. Centuries later he was adopted as a literary character of terma and was attributed various works. Chatral Sangye Dorji (1913-2016) was said to have received a mala rosary from a man who was at the time dressed as an Indian Sadhu. It was only later that Rinpoche told his attendants that he received a mala on that day from Vimalamitra in real. The attendants were curious and went back to the place where they met a sadhu only to be left lost and I found. The sadhu was not to be found anywhere. One scholar remarked that the historical Vimalamitra “would have been astonished to find himself the focus of such a tradition.”
Chagdud Tulku Rinpoche
Chagdud Tulku was a Tibetan teacher of the Nyingma school of Vajrayana Tibetan Buddhism. He was known and respected in the West for his teachings, his melodic chanting voice, his artistry as a sculptor and painter, and his skill as a physician. He acted as a spiritual guide for thousands of students worldwide. He was the sixteenth tülku of the Chagdud line.
Chökyi Nyima Rinpoche is a Tibetan Buddhist teacher and meditation master.
He is the abbot of Ka-Nying Shedrub Ling Monastery in Kathmandu, Nepal.
He is the author of several books, founder of meditation centers around the world, and acclaimed teacher teaching internationally.
Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche
Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche was a Buddhist master of the Kagyü and Nyingma lineages who lived at Nagi Gompa hermitage in Nepal.
Urgyen Rinpoche was considered one of the greatest Dzogchen masters of his time.
Tulku Urgyen was the author of the two-volume As It Is, which deals with the subject of emptiness.
His main transmissions were the Chokling Tersar and the pointing-out instruction.
Rigdzin Namkha Gyatso Rinpoche
Rigdzin Namkha Gyatso Rinpoche is a Tibetan Buddhist teacher living in Lausanne (Switzerland).
Kyabjé Drubwang Padma Norbu Rinpoche was the 11th throne holder of the Palyul Lineage of the Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism, and said to be an incarnation of Vimalamitra. He was widely renowned in the Tibetan Buddhist world as a master of Dzogchen. He was one of a very few teachers left from his generation who received all his training in Tibet under the guidance of what Tibetan Buddhists consider to be fully enlightened teachers.
The eleventh Mindrolling Trichen, Trichen Jurme Kunzang Wangyal Standard Tibetan: འགྱུར་མེད་ཀུན་བཟང་དབང་རྒྱལ་ was a lama of the Nyingma-school, the oldest school of Tibetan Buddhism and had been responsible for the administrative affairs for the school in exile as the ceremonial head of the lineage.
He is generally regarded as one of the greatest Tibetan masters.
Chimé Rigdzin Rinpoche, popularly known as “C.R. Lama”, was an important lineage holder of the Northern Treasures tradition in the Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism.
Wangchen Tenzin, King of Lingtsang, also Lingtsang Gyalgenma, was the King of Lingtsang in Kham, a tertön, a ngagpa and a kīla master of the Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism.
He was said to be an incarnation of King Gésar of Ling and was known for his kindness and his siddhis linked to his kīla practice.
Pema Lingpa or Padma Lingpa was a Bhutanese saint and siddha of the Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism. He is considered a terchen or “preeminent tertön” and is considered to be foremost of the “Five Tertön Kings”. In the history of the Nyingma school in Bhutan, Pema Lingpa is second only in importance to Padmasambhava.
The first Namkhai Nyingpo was one of the 25 close disciples of Guru Rinpoche and attained full realization through the practice of Yangdak Heruka.
He was able to perform many miracles such as riding on the sun’s rays, and was instructed by Yangdak Heruka to write down the whole sadhana for the benefit of future beings.
He also visited India and received teachings from Humkara, and then King Trisong Detsen took him as a teacher and received the entire cycle of Yangdak Heruka teachings from him. It is said that he lived to be 200 years old and was still alive during the time of King Langdarma.
When his activities in that lifetime were complete, he manifested many emanations, although they weren’t given the name Namkhai Nyingpo. Among these emanations were the treasure revealers Jangchub Lingpa and Dawa Gyaltsen.
Namkhai Nyingpo was a realized practitioner of Śāntarakṣita’s tradition of Sutrayana “gradualist” Mahayana Buddhism as well as simultaneously being one of the most accomplished Tibetan practitioners of the East Mountain Teaching of Chan Buddhism, which transmits the “subitist” tradition of Mahayana Buddhism.
Dudjom Jigdral Yeshe Dorje
Dudjom Jigdral Yeshe Dorje, was the second Dudjom Rinpoche. He was recognized as a direct rebirth of Dudjom Lingpa (1835–1904) and was also later appointed the first supreme head of the Nyingma lineage of Tibetan Buddhism by the fourteenth Dalai Lama and the Central Tibetan Administration.
Tāre Lhamo, a.k.a. Tāre Dechen Gyalmo, was a Tibetan Buddhist master, visionary, and treasure revealer who gained renown in eastern Tibet. She was especially praised for her life-saving miracles during the hardships of the Cultural Revolution and for extending the life-span of many masters. It was said that her activities to benefit others swelled like a lake in spring.
Taklung Tsetrul Rinpoche
Taklung Tsetrul Rinpoche was a Tibetan lama and the Supreme Head of the Nyingma School of Tibetan Buddhism. He received the highest Dzogchen teachings from Polu Khenpo Dorje, a direct disciple of Khenpo Ngakchung.”Kyabje Taklung Tsetrul Rinpoche, throneholder of the Dorje Drak monastery, accepted the position of the Supreme Head of Nyingmapa lineage, the “Old Translation Tradition” in Tibetan Buddhism. He is following Kyabje Dudjom Rinpoche, Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, Kyabje Drubwang Pema Norbu Rinpoche, Kyabje Mindroling Trichen Rinpoche, and then finally Kyabje Trulshik Rinpoche, who died late last year.”
Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche
The 7th Dzogchen Ponlop is an abbot of Dzogchen Monastery, founder and spiritual director of Nalandabodhi, founder of Nītārtha Institute for Higher Buddhist Studies, a leading Tibetan Buddhist scholar, and a meditation master. He is one of the highest tülkus in the Nyingma lineage and an accomplished Karma Kagyu lineage holder.
Mindrolling Jetsün Khandro Rinpoche is a lama in Tibetan Buddhism. Born in Kalimpong, India and the daughter of the late Mindrolling Trichen, Khandro Rinpoche was recognized by Rangjung Rigpe Dorje, 16th Karmapa at the age of two as the reincarnation of the Great Dakini of Tsurphu Monastery, Urgyen Tsomo, who was one of the most well-known female masters of her time. Khandro Urgyen Tsomo was the consort to Khakyab Dorje, 15th Karmapa Lama (1871–1922) and recognised in this Buddhist tradition as an incarnation of Yeshe Tsogyal. Her name is in fact her title, Khandro being Tibetan for dakini and rinpoche an honorific usually reserved for tulkus that means “precious one.”
Karma Lingpa (1326–1386) was the tertön (revealer) of the Bardo Thodol, the so-called Tibetan Book of the Dead. Tradition holds that he was a reincarnation of Chokro Lü Gyeltsen, a disciple of Padmasambhava.
Jñanasutra one of the early masters of the Dzogchen lineage.
He was a disciple of Shri Singha and the main teacher of Vimalamitra.
His last testament, which he conferred upon Vimalamitra before passing into the rainbow body, is called the Four Means of Abiding.
Trulshik Rinpoche Ngawang Chökyi Lodrö born in Yardrok Taklung, Central Tibet was one of the main teachers of the 14th Dalai Lama and of many of the younger generation of Nyingma lamas today including Sogyal Rinpoche. He is considered the spiritual heir of several senior Nyingma masters of the last century such as Dudjom Rinpoche and Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche. Rinpoche is the subject of a documentary film Destroyer of Illusion narrated by Richard Gere. Trulshik Rinpoche founded the monastery of Thubten Chöling in Nepal. In 2010 he became the official head of the Nyingma school.
Khenpo Jigme Phuntsok, born 1933– died January 7, 2004, was a Nyingma lama from Sertha Region, His family were Tibetan nomads. At the age of five he was recognized “as a reincarnation of Lerab Lingpa. Known also as Nyala Sogyel and Terton Sogyel, Lerab Lingpa was an eclectic and highly influential tantric visionary from the eastern Tibetan area of Nyarong .” He studied Dzogchen at Nubzor Monastery, received novice ordination at 14, and full ordination at 22.
Rigdzin Gödem . also known as Rigdzin Gokyi Demtru Chen and Ngodrub Gyaltsen, was a major Nyingma tertön. He revealed an important cycle of termas called the “Northern Treasures” or byanggter.
Tulku Dakpa Rinpoche སྤྲུལ་སྐུ་གྲགས་པ་རིན་པོ་ཆེ is a lama in the Nyingma School of Tibetan Buddhism,. He was recognized by His Holiness Mindrolling Trichen Rinpoche as a reincarnation of Drupwang Rogza Sonam Palge, a hidden yogi of eastern Tibet. He has graduated from the Mindrolling Monastery’s University of Tibetan Buddhism as a certified lineage holder of both sutra and tantra.
Shukseb Jetsunma Chönyi Zangmo (1852–1953) was the most well known of the yoginis in the 1900s, and was considered an incarnation of Machig Lapdron. She was the abbess of Shukseb nunnery, and was a Nyingma Tibetan Buddhist teacher. She made the nunnery once again into a center for the special teachings of the Shugseb Kagyu. The nunnery still exists in Tibet today, and in fact is one of its most active nunneries.
Kyabjé Dungse Thinley Norbu Rinpoche was a major modern teacher in the Nyingma lineage of Tibetan Buddhism, and patron of the Vajrayana Foundation. He was the eldest son of Dudjom Rinpoche, the former head of the Nyingma lineages, and also the father of Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche and Dungse Garab Rinpoche. His association with the Dudjom Lineage is a long one: he is held to be the incarnation of Tulku Drime Oser, who was one of seven sons of Dudjom Lingpa. He also was considered to be an emanation of Longchen Rabjam, the great 14th-century Nyingma scholar and siddha who composed the Seven Treasuries. He died in California on December 26, 2011, according to the Tibetan Buddhist Lunar Calendar the 2nd day of the 11th month of the Iron Rabbit year. His cremation was held in a public buddhist cremation ceremony in Paro, Bhutan on March 3rd, 2012, which was attended by several thousand people, including some of Bhutan’s royal family.
Lama Tharchin Rinpoche was a Tibetan Dzogchen master in the Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism. He was tenth holder of the family lineage known as the Repkong Ngakpas.
Shabkar Tsokdruk Rangdrol
Shabkar Tsokdruk Rangdrol (1781-1851) was a Tibetan Buddhist yogi and poet from Amdo.
Shabkar’s yogic and poetic skill is considered second only to Milarepa.
Tertön Sogyal Lerab Lingpa was a Tibetan Buddhist tertön and a teacher of the Thirteenth Dalai Lama.
Tarthang Tulku is a Tibetan teacher (lama) who introduced the Nyingma tradition of Tibetan Buddhism into the United States, where he works to preserve the art and culture of Tibet. He oversees various projects including Dharma Publishing, Yeshe-De, Tibetan Aid Project, and the construction of the Odiyan Copper Mountain Mandala. Tarthang Tulku also introduced Kum Nye into the West.
Rongzom Chökyi Zangpo, widely known as Rongzom Mahapandita, Rongzom Dharmabhadra, or simply as Rongzompa, was one of the most important scholars of the Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism. Together with Longchenpa and Ju Mipham, he is often considered to be one of the three “omniscient” writers of the school. His elder contemporary Atiśa (980–1054) considered Rongzompa to be an incarnation of the Indian ācārya Kṛṣṇapāda, the Great. The Tibetan historian Gö Lotsawa (1392–1481) said of Rongzom that no scholar in Tibet was his equal.
Zhangton Tashi Dorje
Zhangtön Tashi Dorjé was a Tibetan Buddhist Dzogchen teacher who was an important treasure revealer (terton) in the Menngagde lineage of Dzogchen. He is particularly known for revealing the Vima Nyingthig, a key Dzogchen cycle of teachings which includes the Seventeen tantras of Dzogchen. Zhangton was born in Yamdrok Tonang and was a disciple of Chetsün Sengé Wangchuk.
Padma Samten is a Brazilian Buddhist lama.
Alfredo Aveline has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in quantum physics from Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS), where he was professor from 1969 to 1994.
During those years, he studied quantum physics, a theory in which he found a similarity with Buddhist thought.
In the early 1980s, his interest in Buddhism was intensified.
In 1986, he founded Bodhisattva Center for Buddhist Studies (CEBB).
In 1993, he was accepted by Chagdud Tulku Rinpoche as his disciple and in 1996 he was ordained lama, a title meaning leader, priest and teacher.
Since that time, Lama Samten has traveled and taught, helping to structure and sustain practice groups throughout Brazil.
Orgyen Kusum Lingpa
Orgyen Kusum Lingpa (1934-2009) was a Tibetan terton and Nyingma lineage holder within Tibetan Buddhism. His name means “Holder of the Sanctuary of the Trikaya of Oddiyana Padmasambhava.”
Orgyen Chokgyur Lingpa
Chokgyur Lingpa or Chokgyur Dechen Lingpa (1829-1870) was a tertön or “treasure revealer” and contemporary of Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo and Jamgon Kongtrul. Regarded as one of the major tertöns in Tibetan history, his termas are widely practiced by both the Kagyu and Nyingma schools.Chokgyur Lingpa was the “manifestation,” meaning the reincarnation, of King Trisong Deutsen’s son, Prince Damdzin. Another of his former lives was the great terton, Sangye Lingpa, who revealed the Lama Gongdu. Chokgyur Lingpa was the last of the 100 major tertons. He was the owner of seven transmissions and is regarded as the universal monarch of all tertons. One of the reasons for this is that no other terton has revealed a teaching that includes the Space Section (Longde) of Dzogchen. There are several Mind Section (Semde) revelations and all major tertons have revealed the Instruction Section (Mengagde), but only Chokgyur Lingpa transmitted the Space Section. This is why the Dzogchen Desum is considered the most extraordinary terma that he ever revealed.
Chokgyur Lingpa’s main consort was Dechen Chodron and Padmasambhava predicted that his three children would be emanations of the three family lords: Avalokiteshvara, Manjushri and Vajrapani. I don’t like saying this, for it may sound like I’m bragging about my family line, but such a prophecy does exist. The Manjushri emanation was supposed to be Wangchok Dorje, the Avalokiteshvara emanation Tsewang Norbu and the Vajrapani emanation my grandmother, Konchok Paldron.
Nyoshul Khenpo Rinpoche
Nyoshül Khenpo Rinpoche (1932–1999), more fully Nyoshül Khenpo Jamyang Dorje, was a Tibetan lama born in the Derge region of Kham.
Nyangrel Nyima Özer was an important Nyingma tertön, a revealer of terma treasure texts in Tibetan Buddhism.
Dzogchen Rinpoche is the head lama of Dzogchen Monastery, one of the largest monasteries in eastern Tibet which was destroyed in 1959 and rebuilt in the 1980s.
The current Dzogchen Rinpoche, who is enumerated as the seventh in the lineage of mindstream ’emanations’, ‘Jikme Losal Wangpo’, was born in Gangtok, Sikkim in 1964, as the younger brother of Sogyal Rinpoche.
He was enthroned by Dodrupchen Rinpoche at the Royal Palace in Gangtok 1972.
He went on to study at the Institute of Dialectics in Dharamsala, where his education was closely supervised by the 14th Dalai Lama.
His main teachers include Dodrupchen Rinpoche, Dudjom Rinpoche and Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche. He established a Dzogchen Monastery in exile, in Kollegal, South India, which was inaugurated by the Dalai Lama in 1992.
Chatral Sangye Dorje
Chatral Sangye Dorje Rinpoche was a Dzogchen master and a reclusive yogi known for his great realization and strict discipline. Rinpoche was one of the few living disciples of Khenpo Ngawang Pelzang and was widely regarded as one of the most highly realized Dzogchen yogis. In addition to his relationship with Khenpo Ngagchung, Chatral Sangye Dorje also studied with some of the last century’s most renowned masters, including Dudjom Jigdral Yeshe Dorje, Dzongsar Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö, and the famed Kunzang Dekyong Wangmo. Rinpoche was one of the primary lineage holders of the Longchen Nyingthig, and in particular the lineage that descends through Jigme Lingpa’s heart son Jigme Gyalwe Nyugu and then on to Patrul Rinpoche.
Namchö Mingyur Dorje was an important tertön or “treasure revealer” in Tibetan Buddhism. His extraordinary “pure vision” revelations, which mostly occurred around the age of 16, are known as the Namchö (Wylie: gnam-chos “Sky Dharma” terma. He first transmitted these to his teacher Karma Chakmé, the illustrious Buddhist scholar of the Kagyu school, who wrote them down. The collection of his revelations fill thirteen Tibetan volumes and are the basis of one of the main practice traditions of the Palyul lineage, a major branch of the Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism. He was considered to be a reincarnation of Palgyi Senge of Shubu, one of the ministers the 8th-century Tibetan King Trisong Detsen sent to invite Padmasambhava to Tibet. He recognized Kunzang Sherab as the Lineage Holder of the Namchö terma. Loden Chegse, one of Padmasambhava’s eight emanations, had a vision which helped him learn to read and write. At age 7, his Dakini visions helped focus on reliance upon the lama. At age 10, after a vision and with a Dharma Protector’s help, he met his root lama Karma Chagme. Karma Chakmé recognized him as manifestation of Padmasambhava, Senge Dradok. Mingyur Dorje revealed the Namchö treasures at age thirteen, which were written down with Karma Chakmé’s help while they stayed in retreat together for three years.
Katok Tsewang Norbu
Katok Tsewang Norbu’ was a teacher of the Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism) who notably championed the shentong or “empty of other” view first popularised by the Jonang school as well as examining the Chan Buddhist teachings of Hashang Mahayana, known as Moheyan. Despite the shentong view being banned as heretical, he successfully taught and cultivated its teachings as a legitimate view among the Nyingmapa.
Khentrul Lodro Thaye Rinpoche
Khentrul Lodrö Thayé Rinpoche is the abbot of Mardo Tashi Choling in Eastern Tibet. He established a retreat center there. He created the shedra, a formal Buddhist monastic teaching, under the direct guidance of his teacher Khenpo Jigmed Phuntsok Rinpoche. He directs the education and spiritual practice of three hundred monks, seventy advanced-degree candidates, sixty children, and twenty full-time retreatants.
Khenchen Palden Sherab Rinpoche
Khenchen Palden Sherab Rinpoche, also called “Khen Rinpoche,” is a teacher, a scholar, a lama, and a Dzogchen master in the Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism. He was considered by Penor Rinpoche to be one of the most learned Nyingma scholars alive. Among other notable activities, he founded the first nunnery in Deer Park (Sarnath), the Orgyen Samye Chokhor Ling Nunnery.
Dodrupchen Jigme Trinle Ozer
Dodrupchen Jikmé Trinlé Özer was a Nyingma tertön who was the “heart-son” of Jigme Lingpa, for whom he became the “principal doctrine-holder” ( ) of the Longchen Nyingthig terma cycle. Jigme Trinle Ozer was recognized by Jigme Lingpa as the mindstream embodiment of one of King Trisong Detsen’s sons, Prince Murum Tsenpo.
Khenpo Sherab Sangpo
Khenpo Sherab Sangpo is the Spiritual Director of Bodhicitta Sangha, Heart of Enlightenment Institute in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA.
He was trained by Khenpo Petse Rinpoche and Jigme Phuntsok Rinpoche, two of the greatest masters of the Nyingma tradition in recent history.
He was invited to teach at Chökyi Nyima Rinpoche’s Ka-Nying Shedrup Ling monastery, where he gave lectures to both Tibetan monks and Western students at the Centre for Buddhist Studies.
Dzogchen Ranyak Patrul Rinpoche
Dzogchen Ranyak Patrul Rinpoche is a Tibetan lama, teacher and author in the Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism. He is the founder of the Dzogchen Centre Belgium, a branch of the Dzogchen Monastery in Tibet.
Khenpo Shenga Rinpoche, also Shenpen Chökyi Nangwa (1871–1927) was a Tibetan scholar in the Nyingma and Sakya traditions of Tibetan Buddhism.
Dhardo Rinpoche (1917-1990), born Thubten Lhundup Legsang, was the 12th in a line of tulkus from Dhartsendo on the eastern border of Tibet who hailed from the Nyingma Gompa in Dhartsendo called Dorje Drak. The 11th tulku rose to the Abbot of Drepung and during the 1912 invasion of Tibet by China was the most senior of the retired abbots in the National Assembly. He died in 1916 and the 12th Tulku was born in 1917.
Khenpo Gangshar Wangpo was a highly respected lama in Eastern Tibet and one of the primary teachers of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche and the 9th Thrangu Rinpoche. Khenpo Gangshar was trained in Shechen Monastery, a monastic center established in the end of the seventeenth century and part of the Mindröling lineage within the Nyingma tradition of Tibetan Buddhism.
Yangthang Rinpoche or Domang Yangthang Rinpoche or Kunzang Jigmed Dechen Ösal Dorje (1930–2016) was a renowned Nyingma teacher from the region of Yangthang who was associated with Domang Monastery, a branch of Palyul in Eastern Tibet.
Yudra Nyingpo was one of the chief disciples of Vairotsana and one of the principal lotsawa “translators” of the first translation stage of texts into Tibetan.
Tsele Natsok Rangdröl (1608-?) was an important master of the Kagyü and Nyingma schools of Tibetan Buddhism. He is also known as Tsele Gotsangpa.
Khenpo Ngawang Pelzang
Khenpo Ngawang Pelzang, also known as Khenpo Ngagchung, is considered by the Tibetan tradition to be an emanation of Vimalamitra.
Togdan Rinpoche was enthroned as the leader of Drikung Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism for Ladakh in 1943 and serves today as the Head Lama for all Tibetan Buddhist Lineages in Ladakh. Rinpoche is one of the most senior Lamas for the Drikung Kagyu and Nyingma lineages of Tibetan Buddhism.
Getse Mahapandita (1761–1829) was an important Nyingma scholar affiliated with Kathok Monastery.
Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo
Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo is an enthroned tulku within the Palyul lineage of the Nyingma tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. In the late 1980s, she gained international attention as the first Western woman to be named a reincarnated lama. She continues to serve as Spiritual Director for Kunzang Odsal Palyul Changchub Choling, a Buddhist center in Poolesville, Maryland, which includes one of the largest communities of Western monks and nuns in North America. She went on to found a center in Sedona, Arizona, U.S.A. Jetsunma has been described by her own teachers, as well as many other Tibetan Buddhist lamas who have visited her temple, as a dakini or female wisdom being.
Shri Singha was a principal disciple and dharma-son of Mañjuśrīmitra in the Dzogchen lineage.According to the Nyingmapa tradition of Tibetan Buddhism, the Dzogchen masters Manjushrimitra and Shrisimha were already active in the Tantric milieu in India independently. However, Manushrimitra, a learned scholar of Brahman origin, was evidently an adherent of the Yogachara school before his becoming a disciple of the mysterious Prahevajra or Garab Dorje from the country of Uddiyana. It should also be recalled that his disciple Shrisimha was said to have born and resided for some time in China before coming to India. And that the latter’s disciple Vimalamitra visited China before and after he came to Tibet and transmitted the Dzogchen teachings to his disciples at Samye Monastery.
Khenpo Sherab Zangpo， is a venerable lineage master of the Great Perfection, whose root teacher is late Khenpo Jigme Phuntsok, the founder of the world’s largest Buddhist institute Larung Gar Buddhist Institute of Five Sciences in China. His principal Dharma Center is located in Derge of Eastern Tibet.
Shechen Gyaltsab (1871–1926) was a principal lineageholder of Tibetan Buddhism. As an ecumenical, he studied with Nyingma and Sarma schools.
‘Mañjuśrīmitra (Tibetan: Jampalshenyen, འཇམ་དཔལ་བཤེས་གཉེན་, Wylie: Jam-dpal-bshes-gnyen ) was an Indian Buddhist scholar, the main student of Garab Dorje and a teacher of Dzogchen.
Ngawang Jigdral Rinpoche
Ngawang Jigdral Rinpoche, Tulku Ngawang Jigdral Rinpoche is a Nyingma tulku.
Rigdzin Kumaradza (1266–1343) was a Dzogchen master in the lineage of the Vima Nyingthig.
2nd Dzogchen Rinpoche
Gyurme Thekchok Tenzin (b.?) was the 2nd Dzogchen Rinpoche of Tibet.